Mailing to Gays and Lesbians

Mainstream marketers looking for new sources of names should consider the gay and lesbian marketplace. According to Jon Pogact, sales manager of Metamorphics Media, a division of Brewster, NY-based list firm Mal Dunn Associates, the gay and lesbian population accounted for more than $485 billion in buying power in 2003. That amounts to $27,000 per person in disposable personal income after taxes.

Marketing to gays and lesbians presents some interesting challenges, however. For starters, while there are more than 15 million identified gays and lesbians in the U.S., only about a third of those names are available for rent or exchange.

Marketers should consider names from online newsletters such as PlanetOut.com and Gay.com, because the Websites require enthusiasts to plug in useful data such as personal interests on their registration forms, Pogact says.

E-mail marketing is also a good way to reach the tech-savvy gay male or female, but keep in mind that response rates within the segment are somewhat below industry norms, according to Pogact.

For more on gay and lesbian lists, see the February issue of CATALOG AGE magazine.

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